Skip to main content

High School Student Leaders Promote Autism Acceptance

Posted Date: 04/18/2024


April is Autism Awareness Month but at Wantagh High School, awareness has been replaced by acceptance. The General Organization, the high school’s student government, is spearheading the initiative to promote inclusivity and understanding.


“Awareness just isn’t enough,” said General Organization co-President Maylani Lee. 


Student leaders are reminding their peers to be accepting of each other’s differences, and note that an inclusive environment creates a better school for everyone. 


As an annual tradition, student leaders created a large display just beyond the main lobby to promote autism acceptance. It includes quotes about inclusion and also highlights the accomplishments of pop culture figures who have autism. The goal is to show that anyone with autism has the potential for great success. 


“We recognize that it doesn’t hold them back,” co-President Nyla Lester said. “We accept them for who they are.”


General Organization Secretary Josh Berlin said that while the puzzle piece has long been the symbol for autism awareness, the display also includes the infinity sign, which is becoming a more widely used symbol to represent autism acceptance. He said that no one should be defined by having autism – it is a part of who they are just like any trait that someone has.


“It’s not a difference-maker in who they are as a person,” he said.


The General Organization will be giving out blue “Autism Acceptance WHS” bracelets to the student body as a way to create unity and show that acceptance and inclusion are strongly valued at Wantagh High School. 


WHS Autism Awareness Showcase